I had some very mixed emotions going into Father’s Day 2015. This was my first Father’s Day without The Old Man. This Father’s Day would also be one which I would be spending without The Kid – for reasons which I’m not really inclined to discuss here yet. This is also a Father’s Day of great anticipation: within the next few weeks – if not days, The New Guy will be here.
I didn’t feel much like a Dad this year for Father’s Day; nor did I feel like much of a son. There were a few gaping holes in the day.
Don’t get me wrong. The Auteur and I went out to eat Friday night. She made a great breakfast Sunday morning. Then we tag-teamed on dinner for her day Sunday afternoon. To cap off the day, her and 1B got me some nice gifts; but in those moments when I was alone, all I could think about were my Dad and my son.
Two years ago was the last time I got to spend a Father’s Day with both of them. I knew then how fortunate I was. I had no idea that what a “first father’s day without my dad” would feel like; but clearly I knew it would come sooner rather than later.
As much as not having The Old Man here, not being with The Kid is consuming me. All I’m willing to disclose right now is this: I’m working on it. Jabba and I have had no communication for nearly 3 months and that is no accident. We are not co-parenting and that is a situation I am working to recitfy.
There’s an old Jabba story that Mother likes to tell. I’m going to share it with you all now, as it speaks volumes about the kind of person Jabba is, was and always will be:
Thanksgiving 1995: Jabba and I had only been together for a few weeks. This was in fact our first “couple” holiday. Jabba wanted to bring some kind of dish to my parent’s house for Thanksgiving dinner, as is the custom – particularly when formally having dinner in a stranger’s home for the first time. She decided to pick up a pie from the local Kroger (a regional grocery chain). No big deal. When Mother and my grandmother sliced up the pie to pass it around, they complimented Jabba on it. It wasn’t anything real specific. The exact wording escapes me, but it was something general, along the lines of “this pie is really good, Jabba.” It may have even been more direct and included a “Where did you get it?” Rather than simply saying “thank you” or telling how she found it at Kroger, Jabba took this as an opportunity to distort, twist and re-shape the truth to suit her own ego. “Oh, I made it myself” she explained.
It was blatantly obvious to anyone who saw this pie, or the package it came in that it was store-bought. It came packed in one of those clear deli-style boxes and included a Kroger label, complete with a list of the contents, ingredients, a UPC code and all. Instinctively, I called her out on this.
I looked at her incredulously. “No you didn’t. You bought this at the store.” I even asked her about it later in the day. “Why would you tell my family you made that pie? They don’t care that you didn’t make it fresh”. This was the first, stark example I would have with Jabba and her affinity for bullshit.
Mother and my grandmother saw right through it from day one. But like the rest of my immediate family and friends would do for the duration of our marriage, they looked past it. Not because they thought so highly of Jabba; but because they loved me.
It wasn’t a big deal; just a little white lie. But it served as a precursor of what would come in the months and years ahead. Jabba and bullshit is a love affair that continues to this day, with my last entry being the most recent example.
If that last post feels like I didn’t finish it, it’s because I probably didn’t. Frankly, even thinking about last Thursday’s conversation gets me riled up. I had my freak-out period, calmed down and returned to my two initial conclusions:
Assuming that Jabba is telling the truth: This would mean that The Kid has been seeing a child psychiatrist for a comment he made upwards of four months ago. Furthermore, it would mean that Jabba knowingly allowed The Kid into a situation that she knew would make him uncomfortable – namely seeing me and even the possibility of seeing me with The Auteur. Also, it would mean she put him into this situation without saying one word of it to me. Finally, it would mean that she has footing the bill for the psychiatrist herself, despite the fact that she has been hounding me about starting child support payments and medical reimbursements. If this is the case, then shame on her.
Or the other, more likely scenario: Jabba is lying. The Kid hasn’t seen any psychiatrist and she is that desperate to get a rise out of me or to try to undermine my new life. Were she as concerned about The Kid as she claims, she would have told me immediately about what he said. She would have temporarily ignored her personal beef with me and we would have just talked about him. Alas, she had to fall back on her typical, petty mud-slinging and screaming. Such a level of out-right lying and fabricating facts takes a level of depravity and desperation that I would have – at one time – thought to be beneath even her. If this is the case – as I believe it to be – then shame on her.
This is a pretty black-and-white issue. She is either telling the truth, or she is lying. Shame on her, in either case. Furthermore, if she feels she has lost control and is sinking to such levels of desperation, then I fear what she may try to say, do or accuse me – or one of my loved ones – of doing in the future. My concern now is how and where to go from here. I have some thoughts on that – but nothing I am willing to commit to HTML. Yet.
I got an e-mail from Jabba on Sunday night. Up until now, I’ve been reluctant to talk about it, let alone share it; but a phone conversation I had with her last night has prompted me to finally open up.
The Kid had a meltdown last night. He said some really frightening things and some that I will spare you. It was a gut wrenching night. The issue was his trip to Michigan.
He told me that “I wish my daddy didn’t have a girlfriend because then he’d love me.” He never mentioned The Auteur’s name as he likes her. He doesn’t like the idea of her. He is afraid that you are going to marry her and have a baby and forget about him and not love him. His biggest complaint was that he isn’t get to see Mother, The Old Man and Phred enough while he was in Michigan. He has asked me to speak with you about this. He has asked me to ask you that when he comes to Michigan that he wants to stay at Mother and The Old Man’s with you. It is much the same as what he said while he was up there. He told me that he tried to speak with you about it and that you wouldn’t listen to him so he thinks “he needs help from an adult.”
I ask you to hear him out and follow his lead. This is not about you. This is not about The Auteur. This is about The Kid not being emotionally it psychologically prepared to deal with this right now and you respecting his feelings. The way you handle this can help him accept The Auteur’s role in his life or reject it. Similarly, it will do the same for his feelings for you.
Please speak with him and more importantly listen to him
I was tempted to ignore it altogether; not even dignify it with a response. Fast forward to last night: The Kid and I are talking on the phone when he tells me that Jabba wants to talk to me. He apparently misunderstood her as she just wanted to know if I got the e-mail. I confirmed for The Kid – and Jabba – that I did.
Obviously, this is a topic that Jabba and I needed, and need, to discuss. At the behest of The Auteur, I decided to give Jabba a call Thursday night so we could stop tip-toeing through this. As I mentioned in an earlier entry HERE, I don’t believe that The Kid truly feels the way that Jabba claims he does. As the old saying goes: I haven’t seen it myself; therefore I don’t believe it.
The Hutt reached an absolute new low last night: She told me that The Kid has been seeing a child psychologist and said that he wanted to kill himself. Upon hearing this, I immediately asked for the name and number for this child psychiatrist. She refused to give it to me, stating that she is reluctant to take that “safe place” away from The Kid. Needless to say, I am now exploring my legal rights on this matter.
What was most striking to me was that this alleged bombshell she dropped did not change the course of our discussion. She did not set aside any animosity she has for me in an attempt to get to the heart of this matter. No; instead she reverted to her typical name call and cursing at me. So I took a page out of her book: after warning her several times to stop the name-calling, I told her that I would continue this conversation when she was ready to talk like an adult. I told her “have a good night” and I hung up on her.
Of course, if my son is feeling like this, then I will do everything in my power to help him. But the fact of the matter is that it is highly unusual for a six-year-old to even have suicidal thoughts. Furthermore, there is absolutely no indication in any other aspect of his life that he is anything other than a happy little boy. I have spoken with his school teacher and she has said repeatedly that he is a both happy and precocious. In fact, when she e-mailed The Kid’s report card, she even said he talked about how much fun he had with me over Christmas break. At the time, the comment made me feel really good. Little did I realize just how important that remark would become in just a few short weeks.
Could it be that this fourteen month odyssey is finally coming to an end?
I am currently blogging from Moncks Corner, South Carolina, where I will be appearing in court tomorrow. Last week, I was informed by my attorney that court appearance I was supposed to have back in June was rescheduled for tomorrow afternoon. Apparently Jabba and her attorney got their shit together and submitted files their motion (motions?) with the court, so I made plans to come down for the court date.
after landing in Myrtle Beach and getting my rental car, I got a call from my attorney. He explained to me that he & Jabba’s attorney have reached a settlement. He didn’t go into too much detail; but what he did described sounded pretty good. I’m going to try to read the settlement before we go into court tomorrow.
In equally good news, The Auteur signed her divorce papers on Monday. According to her attorney, she should have her final papers in about 60 days.
Her and I have both been living with these divorces hanging over our heads for so long now that I almost feel like I’m used to them (the divorces) just being a lingering thing. It’s not unlike when Rob says to Mikey in Swingers that “you’ve lived with it for so long, you almost miss the pain”. Howerer after talking to my lawyer, I quickly found myself adjusting to the idea of “No More Jabba”.
This caught my attention. Always good info to have on hand if you or a buddy are gong through a divorce. Hang in there brothers…
Divorced men are at a higher risk of a suicide. If you are experiencing a divorce, or watching a close mate go through one, be aware of the warning signs and seek help. A recent study found that divorced and separated men were nearly 2.4 times more likely to kill or harm themselves than married men.
Men do not always talk about their broken hearts, loneliness, vanished dreams or loss of connection with their children, so their reaction to divorce might surprise those closest to them.
When a marriage ends, for many men it is not only the end of the relationship with their wives, but the man’s relationship with his children changes dramatically as well. More often than not, fathers don’t get to see their children as frequently, and so the quality of the relationship changes. Such profound changes are often accompanied by loneliness, helplessness and hopelessness. Many men…
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I did it.
I sent out THE PAPERS on Friday afternoon following a brief conversation the STBX and I had while I was at bowling on Thursday. She asked me where the separation agreement was and then tried to lecture me on legal proceedings. I even told her that my lawyer informed me that she hadn’t filed anything yet.
To me, it’s not really a big deal which one of us files papers and gets this divorce thing started. It is a big deal to her, or at least, it was. “I am the one who was wronged” she said to me before I moved out.
It felt very empowering to go to the post office and mail off those papers. It’s probably the first time I’ve felt as if i’m in control of this whole situation. And that is a very nice place to be for a change.
I am expecting some kind of fallout from this. It’s inevitable. Actually, the big surprise if there was no backlash.
Oh and incidentally, Friday was November 2. Exactly seventeen years to the day that the STBX and I met…
Every day, I am reminded that divorce is never as easy as anyone thinks or says it is. The STBX used to say that she would want things to be as amicable as possible if we ever split up. That of course was all pillow talk during the so-called “good old days”.
I asked my brother, who is also an attorney but not family law, to look over the separation agreement she had prepared. Overall, he said it looked like pretty standard stuff. He suggested i ask her to make a change to visitation. He recommend, with her being out of state, that I ask for more time during the summer in exchange for less time during the school year.
Once again, her audacity never ceases to amaze me. She had the temerity to say that she “already doesn’t get to spend time with [our son]”.
Amazing considering I live 850 miles away from him; and her room is right down the hall from his. But in her eyes, she is the victim. She is, she says, “the one who was wronged”.
NOTE TO SELF: this is a reminder to put together a list of her most ridiculous one-liners. this would make a good blog entry.
I’ve put this off long enough. It’s time for a lawyer.
- Taking Hurt Out Of The Holiday When Parents Are Divorced (detroit.cbslocal.com)